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I am a "hand quilter only" and would like to meet others who feel the way I do about this seemingly lost art. I've been quilting for nearly 30 years, and while I love what machine quilting can accomplish, I just am passionate about hand quilting. Call me crazy. I live in rural upstate NY.

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I'd never heard that about tumeric before. I've got carpal tunnel in my right hand rather than arthritis. However, I have arthritis in my back (especially the lower part), hips and left shoulder. The pain had been unbearable and I'd had to give up all activities pretty much due to the pain.

My DH's aunt in Alabama said that she takes 2 TBSP of concentrated dark tart cherry juice daily when her arthritis is bothering her and that it really helped. So my DH ordered a bottle for me to try. It's amazing stuff. Even though I still have pain, the level is reduced so much that I have been able to resume many of my activities. I still have a few really bad days, but it's really fantastic to be able to do even the simplest things again.

When my mother was alive she had severe gout (a side effect of the many medications she had to take) and dark tart cherry juice was recommended by a friend. As I recall, because of the severity of her condition, it did not take away the pain but it did take the edge off, and for her any relief was a blessing. Where do you get this cherry juice? It almost seems to me that it was ordered from a catalog. I've looked for it and do not find it in grocery stores. Thanks. Joyce

Lynn ; How much Tumeric do you take per dosage , I have it in the house for pickling & I woyld sure be willing to try it . Some days my fingers are sure painful after quilting & they are starting to twist too


I, too, am a "hand quilter only." I enjoy the process. I agree with you that it is becoming a lost art. I enjoy using my sewing machine to piece fabrics together, but not to machine quilt with. I also enjoy applique work, because it's so portable. I live in NE PA, very conveniently located to the Poconos, NYC, Philly & Wash. D.C.
Hi Patty, Nice to meet you. I think this is such a great way to meet other people of similar interests. Yes, I do piece by machine but machine quilting is something I guess I will just leave to those who do it best. I have a fairly large tote bag that holds one project and everything I need, so I'm able to take my quilting everywhere - even on long trips in the car, when I'm not being a back-seat driver, I can work. I have a daughter in Pottsville PA. Thanks for responding. Joyce
Hi Joyce, greetings from another hand quilter. Some of the women in one of my quilt groups can't believe I still hand quilt because it takes so-o long, they want to finish one quilt and move on to the next. (I just never let them know how many tops I have that are waiting to be quilted!) I just finished a king size triple Irish chain that I will be putting in the group's quilt show. It took me almost a year to finish. Now I am working on one of the mystery quilts the rest of the group finished about three years ago.

When I first started quilting, it was the quilting that I liked and not the piecing. Sitting either at my floor frame, or in a chair with my lap frame is the most peaceful and relaxing part of the process. When I was still working full time I needed something to unstress with, and hand quilting became that outlet. A couple of years ago my husband had a stroke, and quilting is even more important to me now to help destress.

I also like the softness that hand quilting gives. Some of the machine quilted ones look like and feel like cardboard because of all the quilting in them. Even at 1/4" spacing, to me a hand quilted quilt is a lot softer.

Keep up the hand quilting tradition. Am glad to hear you have family who are already following the path.
Hey Cat Lady,

I hope your name means you are a cat lover - as I am. Around here we have four old timers who take great delight in hiding fabric on me. You know how it is when you have a pile of 2 inch squares on the cutting table. My cats come along and sit on them so I can't find them. Sometimes it takes me an hour to figure out where they are and the cats are sitting there watching me all the while, laughing at me no doubt.

I agree with you. Hand quilting is my therapy. It has given me something to do when my nerves just want me to pace and worry. It puts me in touch with those who have gone on before and left this legacy. I am a lay speaker in my church, and often I get great inspirations for sermons while stitching. And since I have to keep both hands busy, they are not in the cookie jar. I can do four king/queen quilts by hand in a year. Doing custom hand quilting on occasion for others takes time and I always tell those who want one of my projects, not to expect anything really quick.

Its all a matter of what you like best. For me its all about stitching, I know it will get done in due time. I already do too many things in a rush - stitching is something I want to savor. I'd never gobble down a rich, creamy piece of chocolate cake so I could get to the next piece. Why would I rush through my quilting? Thanks for your comments. So good to hear from you. Joyce
Hi Joyce,
I am certainly a newbie quilter..have a few ufo small projects that I would love to handquilt..but putting off for one reason or another..admittedly I am a perfectionist..so I need to just jump in!! I've always loved quilts and been to quite a few quilt shows and I usually end up staring at the quilts that are hand quilted in awe!! I'm just drawn to those quilts...machine quilted ones are beautiful..but hand quilted quilts are just exquisite! Anita
Well we all started out as newbie's so just keep at it. 30 years ago when I saw my first hand quilted quilt, I was not even aware that people did things like that. It fascinated me so - those little hand stitches really spoke to me. The very next day I went to a local fabric store (the rage to quilt was not very big back then) and bought myself a book that had pictures of templates and instructions for cutting. That was before the rotary cutter and strip piecing too - do I sound old? And off I went. Everything about my work is self taught. I've been to workshops and tons of quilt shows since then and learned an awful lot along the way, and what ride. Now I have a studio, several sized rotary cutters, a whole collection of "special" rulers and a stash I shall never get through in one lifetime. And isn't it fun. Thanks for sharing. Joyce
Hi Joyce,

I also prefer hand quilting for all the reasons you listed. For me, it's not about making "x" number of quilts, it's about the process. Hand work keeps me sane. I took a machine quilting class last year thinking I could finish more quilts that way, but I discovered I just didn't care for it the way I do hand quilting.

There must be something about cats and quilts. My cat, Idgie Louise, loves to curl up on whatever I'm trying to work on.

The discussions about turmeric and dark tart cherry juice are very interesting. My hands are not too bad, but my knees sure could use some help. Do any of you...or as we would say in TX...do any of y'all use a spoon when you quilt? I tried it because a friend of mine who's a breast cancer survivor with lymphodema in her left arm and hand wants to learn to quilt, but is afraid to start because she's concerned about continually pricking her fingers on that hand. I actually like quilting with the spoon and it does save my fingers a lot. In the past, if I quilted for several days in a row, my under-the-quilt fingers started to look and feel like hamburger.
Hi there,
Sure good to hear from another fellow "hand quilter." When I started this I thought I'd be the lone soul out there and everybody else would be making fun of my old fashioned ways. Honest, I'm not that old. I'm still waiting to hear about the turmeric and dark cherry juice - I want to know how much to take and where you get it. No, I've never tried using the spoon but I know others who do, and like to work with it very much. And you're right, my under the quilt finger looks horrible after a few days. I bought these little things called Thimble Pads, but I kept pulling them off with the needle. I guess we just have to do what works best. I try to quilt every other day or so, to give my fingers a rest - but then you know what I'm doing on those "days off" making more quilt tops.
Greetings to another hand quilter:
Yes, I have heard of the spoon method, there is even a little piece of metal that has been around for a long time called Aunt Becky (or something like that). I too have tried many different things on my under fingers. It always seems that if I put something on my index finger, I would stop using it and start using the middle finger, and if I put something on the middle finger I would go back to the index finger. One day I put something on both fingers and started using my ring finger. Guess I just like to feel the needle pricking my underhand. Let me just say I have a couple of really good calluses on the first two fingers on my bottom hand! I know someday I will have to learn to quilt with something protecting that hand since adult onset diabetes is very prevalent in my family of origin.
I have a couple of really good friends who wrap their fingertips with electrician's tape. It is inexpensive and works well for them.
Now that I have talked about hand quilting, which I prefer, I have to admit that I am awaiting a stencil I ordered so I can get back to machine quilting the border on a quilt I am making for a "coming" great-granddaughter. I have started doing a lot more of the baby quilts on the machine because my neices and nephews and my husband's grand-daughter (she is also mine now through marriage) keep having babies rather quickly. I also know the quilts will be used and abused by them. Even though I may machine quilt them for the most part, I still add some hand quilting. For example, I am had quilting hearts in the center squares of the great-granddaughter's quilt. The hand quilting is when I really add all of my prayers for the child.
-Cat Lady


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